Source: World Bank
According to a report from UNEP and the World Resources Institute (WRI), approximately ⅓ of food produced worldwide (valued at $1 trillion) is lost or wasted in the food production and consumption system. Worldwide, 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted every year and this generates 3.3 billions tons of carbon dioxide that accelerates global climate change. A large percentage is due in part by produce regarded as “ugly” since some crops can look deformed due to weather changes in the area where it's grown or “imperfect” which applies to those that have blemishes, scarred surface etc. These perfectly edible crops are thrown out just for looking odd and this adds to the rising global food waste problem today.
Source: All That is Interesting
Walmart recently reported that in the U.S. alone, consumers lay to waste, $29 billion worth of edible food per year. This is due to both confusing food labels and ugly produce. In an effort to reduce food waste, Walmart aims to improve clarity over their food labels. How? Current labels, you'll likely recognize, are as follows: “best by”, “use by” and “sell by”. All are used to indicate peak quality of the produce but are not meant to be taken as clear cut expiration dates. To prevent this further confusion, Walmart has begun to label produce with a standardize date label, “Best if used by” which inform consumers that the product is at peak quality before this due date but is still perfectly edible after the labeled date.
Walmart already has a food waste reduction initiative to start and they’ve been making an impact for the past decade. If a certain fruit is shaped oddly, Walmart repurposes it into juice or other prepared foods rather than letting it go to waste.
Heading into your local Walmart or other grocery stores soon? Ask them about their food waste reduction efforts, how you can support the cause and check out the links to the two diagrams below to reduce food waste in your household.
Recently however, Walmart began selling “Spuglies” which are imperfect Russet potatoes, but only on the outside of course. To sell these Spuglies, Walmart worked with their supplier to offer these batch of Spuglies at a discounted price at select Walmart locations.
Source: Eco Home Ideas
According to Fortune, starting this week, Walmart will start testing sale of damaged apples at a discount. Imperfect apples will be packaged in 2-5lb bags and sold across 300 Florida locations with more locations to come later. Walmart is working with a brand of apples, “I’m Perfect”, from Washington to work on this initiative and as the world’s largest grocer, they’re sure to make create an impact.
Another start-up venture called Imperfect Produce also based their core business around ugly fruits. How does it work?
“Imperfect's mission is to find a home for these "ugly" fruits and veggies, starting with our produce delivery subscription in the Bay. And because they look a little funny, you get the 30-50% off!”
Imperfect Produce offer interested shoppers a range of fruit and vegetable package in which you can opt for organic or conventional produce box. They’ve been featured on big news outlets like Bloomberg, Business Insider, Forbes, NY Times and more. Check them out at imperfectprdouce.com.